48: Jim Goes Solo: How to Build Your Messaging Playbook

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In this episode of The Manage Your Message Podcast host Jim Karrh shares the “how” (and the “why”) for growing your business with the help of a messaging playbook.

Jim begins by acknowledging how important a consistently engaging message is today – and how difficult it can be to create and manage. A playbook approach has proven to be practical and effective in these noisy times.

There are some misconceptions about what a playbook is and is not:

  • Playbooks are not rule books, taking the place of employee manuals or handbooks
  • Playbooks are not libraries or repositories, a place to toss product information, sales collateral, or customer-experience scorecards
  • Playbook are guides for specific conversations

What goes into a messaging playbook? Organizations differ, of course, but the most common elements include:

  • The ideal customer or client for the business
  • Buyer personas or roles
  • The problems your organization helps to solve (as the buyer would define them)
  • The things that make your organization truly different
  • Customer stories, visuals, and insights to share

Jim also shares four considerations for organization leaders, based upon his experience in co-creating and implementing messaging playbooks:

  • Your playbook should be connected to important priorities for growth. This is not a fad or some short-term campaign.
  • This is neither a substitute for, nor in conflict with, the messages in your advertising, public relations, or social channels. Rather, it is a translation for building consistency (and taking advantage of the fact that most of your future growth sits in those everyday, offline business conversations!).
  • This is not a solo act. Let your message emerge from a process of co-creation (across people and units, considering all the different people whom you need to share it).
  • Plan for launch and implementation, from the very beginning.


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